January 2006

The bear and the bee

January 31, 2006

Have you heard of Jean de La Fontaine's Fables? He used animals to depict various characters and everyday situations and draw a moral story from it all. I had to memorise quite a few of them when I was at...

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Posted by céline on January 31, 2006
Culture

Guest blogger: Why I'm going to give translation up

January 27, 2006

By Jim Clennell I became a translator more by accident than design. Having blundered through a succession of ill-fated jobs after my arrival in France in 1991, by late 1997 I realised that enough was enough and I would have...

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Grand pont

January 26, 2006

I managed a "grand pont" (big bridge) on an opponent last night at football. I know "petit pont" (little bridge) is "nutmeg" (when you kick the ball between your opponent’s legs), but what about "grand pont"? The only resource on...

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Posted by céline on January 26, 2006
Words

Pop-up window

January 24, 2006

Check out this interesting debate on the translation of "pop-up window" on Jean Véronis’ excellent site. The délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France has decided it should be "fenêtre intruse" (*intruder window), which seems a...

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Posted by céline on January 24, 2006
Words

A load of tosh

January 20, 2006

I am currently reading Underground London, by Stephen Smith. It mentions toshers, who used to go down into London sewers to hunt for any valuable objects that might have been lost and washed away. Not the most glittering of careers,...

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Posted by céline on January 20, 2006
Idioms

Interpreting in emotional situations

January 18, 2006

If you browse through the "interpreting" section of this website, you won’t find many unpleasant stories. The jobs I normally work on are environment or business-related, and although it can be upsetting to stand on a mountain of rubbish or...

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Posted by céline on January 18, 2006
Interpreting

Why is Menzies pronounced Mingis?

January 13, 2006

I was surprised to see in my statistics that a lot of people ended up here looking for an answer to the above question. Why such a difference between the pronunciation and the spelling of Mr Menzies, one of the...

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Posted by céline on January 13, 2006
Technical corner

First language attrition

January 11, 2006

Today's entry on first language attrition has been posted on omniglot.com. I felt very honoured when Simon asked me to contribute to his site, because I think omniglot.com is one of the most amazing language sites around. I particularly love...

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Colon or semi-colon?

January 9, 2006

“You love your semicolons, don’t you?” This comment by Paul, who I had asked to check a sentence that looked wrong to me, led to a discussion on the use of this useful punctuation mark. I was absolutely unable to...

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Posted by céline on January 9, 2006
Technical corner

Tonton, Petit Nicolas, Raffarinade and Éléphant

January 5, 2006

Who is Tonton? Who is le petit Nicolas? And what is a raffarinade? Or an éléphant (on the political scene)? What do these terms, that one may read in the French press, mean, and where do they come from? Hint:...

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Posted by céline on January 5, 2006
Culture

Dénouement

January 3, 2006

I’d like to paradoxically start the new year with a dénouement (also spelled denouement): the explanation of something that has previously been unclear or that has been kept secret, especially at the end of a book or a play. It...

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Posted by céline on January 3, 2006
Words